Are you behind on your mortgage payments?  Have you recently received a notice of foreclosure regarding your home?  Have you attempted a loan modification and been denied.  If you are having trouble with your mortgage, it is critical to understand the foreclosure process and its ramifications for you and your family.

Foreclosure is a serious legal action that can force you out of your home.  If you are facing foreclosure, it is imperative that you contact my office today.  The Law Office of Michael P. O’Donnell can help.  My firm has the experience and dedication to protect you and your home from this unfortunate situation.  As a Dallas Fort Worth foreclosure defense attorney, I have helped many clients avoid foreclosure and save their homes.  For a FREE consultation to discuss your situation, please call (817)-732-7590 or (972)-819-3861.  You can also send an E-mail or complete the Free Case Evaluation.  I look forward to assisting you during this difficult time.  Stop letting debt ruin your life.


When you purchased or re-financed your home, your lender obtained an interest in the property to secure the loan.  This interest created a lien against the property.  If you are failing to make payments on the mortgage, the lender can exercise its security interest and foreclose on the property.  Lenders initiate a legal proceeding known as “foreclosure” whereby the lender is permitted to accelerate the loan and sell the home at auction.  When the Deed of Trust is initially signed it will usually contain a provision called a Power of Sale Clause which upon default allows a trustee to sell the property in order to satisfy the underlying defaulted loan. The trustee acts as a representative of the lender to conduct the sale which typically occurs in the form of an auction.  Once a foreclosure occurs, and the home is sold at auction, there is nothing you can do (unless the foreclosure was invalid for some reason).  Other lien holders, such as taxing authorities and homeowner associations, can also foreclose against your property.

Once the lender, or other secured lien holder, initiates the foreclosure process, it can ultimately sell your home and force you to leave.  Usually the trustee sells the property to the lender for a “commercially reasonable value”.  If the home sells for less than the amount owed plus costs of sale, the lender can seek a deficiency judgment against you.  A judgment can stay on record for ten years and can be renewed. The lender may issue a 1099 report of miscellaneous income to the IRS, requiring you to report forgiveness of debt as income.

There are numerous ways to attack a pending foreclosure, as described below. Unfortunately, time is not on your side when the lender elects to foreclose.  If you have received a notice of foreclosure from your mortgage company, homeowners association, or taxing authority, it is critical that you contact my office today.  My office can help you avoid foreclosure and save your home.  This is typically done through Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.


There are two types of foreclosures — judicial and non-judicial.  A judicial foreclosure occurs when the lender or lien holder files a lawsuit to take possession of the property.  These foreclosures take several months to complete.  A non-judicial foreclosure occurs when the homeowner defaults on the mortgage and the lender accelerates the loan.  After the lender files its notice of foreclosure, the foreclosure process can be completed in very little time.

Unfortunately, Texas allows for non-judicial foreclosures.  As such, Texas residents can lose their homes quickly — sometimes within 41 days of a missed payment.  If you are facing foreclosure in Texas, the time to act is NOW.  Call me today.  I will review your situation and determine whether  Chapter 13 Bankruptcy can help you avoid foreclosure and get you current with the mortgage going forward.


It’s no secret that our economy is suffering right now.  You may have heard of the mortgage crisis, which has contributed to this decline in the economy.  This crisis began several years ago.  At that time, mortgage companies began offering great deals with creative financing.  This creative financing included adjustable-rate mortgages where the interest rate started low for several months but then increased steadily over time.

Unfortunately, many homeowners were caught off guard by the increased interest rates and mortgage payments, as most lenders failed to properly explain how these creative mortgage loans actually work.  Because of these terrible loans and other economic factors, more and more homeowners are facing foreclosure than ever before.

Mortgage companies have also become more aggressive when it comes to home insurance and property taxes.  If you fail to make timely payments for these items, your lender may pay these for you (sometimes without giving you notice), which can drastically increase your monthly payment.

A number of my clients have faced this situation.  To help them catch up on the arrears and stay current with the ongoing payment, many of them have chosen to file Chapter 13 with my office.   Chapter 13 Bankruptcy allows you to keep your home, even if you are behind on payments, and catch up with a five year re-payment plan.  To learn more about Chapter 13 and avoiding home foreclosure, please contact me today.  I can help.


Over the last couple of years, the mortgage industry has promoted numerous loan modification programs.  The government has also stepped in to help with this movement (known as the Making Home Affordable Program).  I have met with hundreds of homeowners facing foreclosure.  Most of them submitted paperwork to their respective mortgage company, only to be turned down several months later.  Although some people are lucky enough to get a modification, most of the programs are short term or provide little relief.

Mortgage companies are in business to make money.  Foreclosures help these companies recoup some of their losses when a buyer defaults on a loan.  In my experience, the lenders would rather foreclose than modify the loan.  It makes little sense, but that is the recent trend among the majority of mortgage companies.


In some cases, there is no time to initiate the loss mitigation options (like a short sale, or modification of the loan).  When time is no longer on your side, and you need a guaranteed way to stop foreclosure, Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is the best solution.   Chapter 13 Bankruptcy provides an “automatic stay”, which stays or halts all collection efforts by your creditors, including home foreclosure.  When you file for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, your mortgage company will be forced to remove its scheduled foreclosure sale of your home from the foreclosure docket.

For example, if you were six months delinquent on a mortgage note with payments of approximately $1,000.00 per month, you could file a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and pay back the delinquency through a three to five year payment plan.  During this time, your mortgage company could not initiate any collection activities against you, including foreclosure.  If you satisfied the other requirements of your Chapter 13 Bankruptcy plan, you would keep your home and also have a clean state moving forward.


Foreclosure is a serious legal action that could dramatically affect you and your home.  As a Dallas Fort Worth foreclosure defense attorney, I will work diligently to save your home and resolve the problems with your mortgage.  There is no reason to lose your home during a financial crisis.  I understand that bad things happen to good people.  With my legal assistance, you can bounce back from your dilemma and avoid the loss of your home.  To maintain possession of your home and avoid foreclosure, please call my office at (817)-732-7590 or (972)-819-3861.  You may also contact me through E-mail or complete the Free Case Evaluation. The Law Office of Michael P. O’Donnell is here to assist you.